National land-cover pattern data

By: , and 



Land cover and its spatial patterns are key ingredients in ecological studies that consider large regions and the impacts of human activities. Because land-cover maps show only cover types and their locations, further processing is needed to extract pattern information and to characterize its spatial variability. We are producing a nationally consistent spatial database of six land-cover pattern indices: forest area density, forest connectivity, the U index (a measure of general land-use pressure by humans), land-cover connectivity, land-cover diversity, and landscape pattern types. We use the land-cover maps produced by the Multi-resolution Land Characteristics Consortium for the conterminous United States at 30-m resolution. The goal of this paper is to encourage use of the pattern data as: contextual information and independent variables for studies involving a set of field sites; indicators of landscape conditions for ecological assessments; and dependent variables in biogeographic and socioeconomic models. The new maps will be most useful in studies that require consistent and comparable land-cover pattern measurements over large regions and can be combined with the original land-cover maps and other data.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title National land-cover pattern data
Series title Ecology
DOI 10.1890/0012-9658(2000)081[0604:NLCPD]2.0.CO;2
Volume 81
Issue 2
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Description 1 p.
First page 604
Country United States
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